LHS performance of ‘Hairspray’ begins Thursday

Martha Sparks msparks@civitasmedia.com

November 10, 2013

Something big is coming to Southern West Virginia with big songs, big dancing and big hair. Logan High School students will present the Broadway musical “Hairspray” at the Coalfield Jamboree in Downtown Logan Thurs., Nov. 14, at 7 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 15, at 7 p.m., and Sat., Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“Hairspray” received 13 Tony Award nominations and won eight awards, including Best Musical. The production ran for more than six years and 2,642 performances. “Hairspray” has had several U.S. national tours, a UK tour and numerous foreign productions. In 2007, “Hairspray” was adapted for a musical film starring John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Zac Efron, and Michelle Pfieffer.

The show centers around pleasantly plump teenager Tracy Turnblad, who teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show. The show is packed with laughs but don’t let the humor fool you, this show has a very important message behind it. “I felt the message of equality still needs to be heard today, not only with race but in every aspect of life. Who better to tell this story than our own high school students?” Bill France, director of the show, said,

France knew this show would be a huge undertaking with the challenging songs and dances, so he assembled an all-star lineup to help him build the massive production. He enlisted the help of co-worker and Logan High School Choir teacher Ellen Woods Ramey as music director. He also asked a former cast member, music teacher in the Boone County school system and current music director of “Willie Wonka”, Robin Bunch Bailey to be his vocal coach. He also brought on President of Appalachian Children’s Theater, Rachel Noe-Maynard as choreographer.

In LHS’s production, Tracy Turnblad will be played by Shana Nelson. Tracy’s best friend Penny Pingleton will be played by Kaitlyn Williamson. Tracy’s mother, Edna Turnblad will be played by Stephen Justice. Link Larkin will be portrayed by Samuel Corns. The role of Amber will be assumed by Skylar Prichard. Seaweed J. Stubbs will be portrayed by Chester Bradsher. Motormouth Maybelle will be played by Natasha Fowler. The role of Velma Von Tussle will be assumed by Makayla White, Corny Collins will be played by Dylan Vidovich. Natasha Fowler will take over the role of Motormouth Maybelle, Brandon Wood will play Wilbur Turnblad. Cheyenne Sellards will be Prudy Pingleton, Mya Birchfield will assume the role of Little Inez. David Spurlock will be playing Mr. Pinky in the production. Shane Vance will be the Principal and Britanny Hodges will portray the gym teacher. Keirra Barrett will be appearing as the Matron. Briyan “B.B.” McCants will be playing Gabby, and Jimetta Early will play Lorraine.

Staci Hall will be Tammy. Hunter Napier will be in the role of Fender. Sara Browning will be Shelley. Alex Wooten will portray Lou Ann. Kennedy Miller will be Vicki. Ty Hensley will be in the role of Brad. Grace Bannister will be Brenda. Madison Nelson will be playing Doreen and Shawn Blevins will play I.Q.

Rounding out the ensemble are Katie Bojaski, Katelyn Johnson, Alison McCoy and Paige Fields.

The show runs November 14-16 at 7 p.m. nightly with a special matinee on Sat., Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. at the Coalfield Jamboree in Downtown Logan. Doors open 30 minutes prior to show. Tickets are $8 each and can be purchased at the door or in advanced at Rock City Bakery in downtown Logan or The UPS Store at Fountain Place Mall.

The show is being presented with special permission by Music Theatre International.